View Full Version : Need some advice

05-30-2004, 09:13 AM
Hey All!

This in my first post on this forum, I need a little advice and I was hoping you guys could help me out. I have been looking into purchasing a 1997 Mustang Cobra. Well, yesterday I thought I had found a great deal. A 1997 Mustang Cobra was at this local dealer and I went to check it out. From my first inspection, everything seemed fine. I had made sure that I had done my homework. I held off on doing the test drive, I wanted my father to be there (he's a pretty big car expert). I wanted to see if he would pick up things that I would miss, and he did.

Today he pointed out minor paint defects, and some larger ones (things that would hopefully bring down the $9,950 price, seems a bit low for a 69,000 mile car doesn't it?). Also, what was fishy was that in the trunk the plywood cover that goes over the spare similar to the one on my 1992 SHO was missing, in its place was a totally black carpet that would be hard to pick up (I had to look twice). The jack was missing as well. With further investigation, there was a cut wire where the stock bass was in the trunk. We checked the radio and it seemed to work fine. We asked the salesman about these abnormalities and his answers seemed vague. The car came from a wholesaler, the keys had been lost somehow (note "somehow," never got a true answer on this), and the car theft alarm could only be disabled through the passenger's side door not the driver's. New keys had to be made.

My father and I gave the car a run. It was a monster, quite different the SHO obviously. However, we noticed that the clutch took up only when the pedal was real high which made me wonder how long the clutch would live or that it maybe needed to be adjusted. After running it, there was a slight smell of oil.

Bottom line, we decided to think about it. My SHO was bought from ebay at a wholesaler and the results have been sort of disappointing. I have had to throw lots of money at it over the past year and I am suffering from a considerable oil consumption problem. That's why I'm looking into a Cobra in the first place. Funny thing is, my SHO's jack was missing and the keys that came with the car did not unlock it. My father believes that my car had been stolen which led him to conclude that this Cobra had also been stolen. Nevertheless, after running the correct title check (the dealer gave me an incorrect one), it turns out that the car has had five titles and was auctioned as fleet/lease at 47188 until a new title at 47221. I just wanted to know what you all thought. I would greatly appreciate it. Honestly, I don't want to buy another car that I would have to put in a lot of repairs to get the car right.

Thanks in advance guys,


P.S. Since this car was a rental car and had five owners it seems, couldn’t that knock down the value considerably? The salesman told us that the car had been on the lot for nearly two months.

My Cobra
05-30-2004, 11:09 AM
First off do not belive anythign the salemen says. That is just a given. He does not care he will tell you anything you want to hear as long as you drive it push it tow it off the lot he gets his money. Is there any kind of warnety they can offer you? Even 30 days same as cash? Also the wire in the trunk that you are talking about is that a power wire for the amp? I do not like the cheep piece of partical board that is in the trunk to cover the tire. I think it is pretty flimsey and i woudl like to get somethign that is a little bit stronger. Just becuase i have subs in the back of my car. If it were me i would walk away from the car no matter how much you like and want a cobra. With a guage light on, oil smell, screwed up keys and a lying sales men that is asking for trouble. But this is just my 2 cents. If you really wanted it i woudl test drive the car to a mechanic that you trust and get them to kinda look it over. point out these problems you noticed to them and see what they say.

05-30-2004, 01:31 PM
For what it is worth, I 100% agree with the reply above. There are a lot of cobra's out there.

05-31-2004, 12:25 AM
That is a steep price for an 97. If it was passed 4 times already, I would pass it off completely. The oil smell is probably due to the dealer changing the oil in hopes to hide something. Or worse, it could be gasket leaks and the original condition of the engine bay was something not to be seen. If you are interested in this particular vehicle, I would run the VIN numbers through carquest or other site to check the history of the car. One should be skeptical when buying used as to not having the knowledge of how it was maintianed. In my case, if I was shopping for a used cobra, I would bring along a code scanner and perform a monitor while doing the test drive to make sure all things are functional. Usually after a few miles you may get pending codes. Many times dealers will reset the codes so that the check engine light does not pop up while it is test driven. If you suspect the car was stolen, perhaps re-possesed is the proper term. That will show up in a carquest report.